Independent Foundations

Private foundations make grants based on charitable endowments. The endowment funds come from one or a small handful of sources -- an individual, a family or a corporation. Because of their endowments, they are focused primarily on grantmaking and generally do not raise funds or seek public financial support the way public charities (like community foundations) must.

Private independent foundations are distinct from private family or corporate foundations in that an independent foundation is not governed by the benefactor, the benefactor’s family or a corporation. Of the largest private foundations in the United States, most are independent foundations, although they may have begun as family foundations or were converted from corporate foundations. There is no official IRS or legal definition of independent foundations, so it is difficult to arrive at statistics that are fully representative of the field.

Below is everything on our site for independent foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” Albert Einstein

Imagine this: a well-intended, charitably-inclined person of wealth creates a trust in the year 1514. This generous benefactor, deeply committed to an altruistic objective, funds the philanthropic cause without a sunset provision; thus, by default, potentially in perpetuity.

Thriving Philanthropy Makes Thriving Communities

There are several proposals being considered in Congress that have significant implications for philanthropy and its effectiveness in addressing some of our most pressing challenges. In addition to educating lawmakers in Washington, D.C., communicating the impact locally is just as important! Here are some ways your organization can spread the word about the correlation between philanthropy and thriving communities.

Media Outreach

Letter to the Editor

In this week's Washington Snapshot, you'll find:

  • Last Chance: Public Policy Preconference
  • Ways and Means Passes Charitable Tax Extenders
  • California Fundraising Law Advances
  • Online Guide to Missouri and Illinois Charities
  • Concern Over Future of New Markets Tax Credit
  • Revision on NTEE Classification System

Read all this and more, online now.

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

Today, the House Ways and Means Committee met to markup several important bills focused on the charitable sector. One bill would make the charitable “tax extenders”—including the IRA charitable rollover—permanent law. Another would simplify the private foundation excise tax on investment income to a single rate of 1%. The Council has already expressed support for both of these measures. All five bills were passed out of the Committee and will now face a full House of Representatives vote.

The following infographic was prepared by Mark Neithercut, of Neithercut Philanthropy Advisors. You can also see his earlier graphic, Six Misconceptions About Family Foundations.

What was your life path that led you to philanthropy?
What do you count as your biggest accomplishment in this field?
Can you describe the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your career?

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

In this week's Washington Snapshot, you'll find:

In this week's edition of Washington Snapshot, you'll find:

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